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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Bachelorette

March 17th, 2013

Bachelorette - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Before Bachelorette opened in theaters, there were some reports it was going to open wide. In the end, it opened in only a few dozen theaters and struggled to find an audience in limited release. Granted, given its genre, it was always going to struggle in limited release, but is the film worth checking out on the home market? Or is it a misfire that was dumped to limited release, because the studio knew it was a flop?

The Movie

The film begins with Becky and Regan having lunch together. They are two high school friends, although friends might be a bit of a stretch. Regan was the Queen Bee of their group of four friends, called the B-Faces in high school, while Becky was the fat sidekick. Becky has some good news, she's getting married to her boyfriend, Dale (Hayes MacArthur). Regan tries to act happy about this news, but immediately after lunch she calls her other two friends, Gena and Katie, to complain about what happened. She was the one that was supposed to get married first, not Becky. Katie does see a bright spot, at least there will be a Bachelorette Party.

The film flashes forward six months to the day before the wedding. Regan is still freaking out over the wedding and is taking it out on the staff, Katie is super excited about the party, while Gena is running late and is not really enthusiastic about showing up. Becky is really happy to see her friends again, but just wants a simple party with her friends. Some champagne and ice cream, and that's it. The rest were expecting something more. (Katie brought cocaine, so you kind of know what kind of party she was expecting.) The reception is relatively uneventful. Regan meets Tevor, and Victoria, Becky's Mom, tries to hook them up. Regan does have a boyfriend, but he couldn't make it to the reception, because he's a med student doing his residency. Gena sees her ex-boyfriend, Clyde, and reluctantly talks to him. It is clear that they have some unresolved issues, but Clyde is spending time with Stephanie, the younger sister of the groom. Katie meets Joe. They went to high school together, not that Katie remembers.

After the reception, the party moves to Becky's room; however, after the stripper arrives, Becky is not happy. Soon the members of the B-Faces have a blow out for all of the crap they did in high school and it ends with Becky telling Katie and Gena that they are not allowed to the wedding, not unless they act like normal people. They react to this by doing more coke and getting even drunker, but this time Regan joins them, still upset Becky is getting married before her. When Katie asks about Becky's wedding dress, Regan tells her to get to get it from the closet. However, instead of bringing it out, she puts it on. Gena suggests Regan and Katie should both put on the dress at the same time and they can take a picture and upload it to Facebook. They do both fit into the dress, but then the dress rips.

Even with the amount of cocaine and alcohol running through their bodies, Regan, Gena, and Katie realize what they did is unforgivable and they begin to panic. They have to fix this problem and before the night is over. Katie's first plan is hiding the dress and pretending the hotel room was robbed. From now on, someone else will be in charge of the planning.

From this point on, we run into spoilers, so that's the end of the plot summary.

Bachelorette suffers from direct comparisons to Bridesmaids. The films are just too similar to avoid that. There are a few main problems that make this movie weaker that the earlier release. Firstly, the three main characters are quite unlikable, especially with the first impressions. Regan is amazingly self-centered. Even before we learn what Becky's big news is, we are left wondering how these two were ever friends. Neither Gena and Katie have grown up since high school, although in different ways. The only redeeming quality they have for much of the movie is that they are far nicer than Tevor, who is complete scum. Secondly, the characters are rather thinly written. And finally, when the film builds to the sentimental ending, it doesn't feel entirely deserved. The film spent too much time being an R-rated comedy in the same vein as The Hangover to suddenly take a turn like that and have some personal emotional moments. Having everyone learn to be a better person in the end is a bit much.

On the other hand, there are a lot of funny actors in this movie; in fact, there's not a single member of the cast that doesn't give it their all. There are also many scenes that are very funny. And while admittedly the switch in tone is sometimes hard to deal with, there are even some sweet character moments in the movie. It is a very dark comedy and this is a genre that is really hard to get right, but fans should find more than enough that works to like the movie as a whole, even though it does fall into some of the same trap most films in this genre fall into.

The Extras

Extras begin with an audio commentary track with the director, Leslye Headland. There is a five-minute long making of featurette, and two minutes of outtakes. That's not a lot of extras.

The technical presentation is good, but not great. It was a low-budget movie and you can tell when you look at the video. There's nothing objectionable in the video quality, no compression issues or the like, but the details levels, the colors, contrast, etc. are all just good and not great. Likewise, the film is a dialogue driven film, so while the dialogue is clear, it is not a complicated mix.

The Blu-ray cost $4 or 31% more than the DVD, which is inline with this type of release.

The Verdict

Bachelorette is a good movie, but there enough flaws that prevent it from being a great movie. There are also not a lot of extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, but it is worth renting if you are a fan of the genre or the cast. It is worth picking up if you are a fan of both.

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Filed under: Video Review, Bachelorette, Lizzy Caplan, Ann Dowd, Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, James Marsden, Adam Scott, Ella Rae Peck, Rebel Wilson, Kyle Bornheimer, Leslye Headland